TOPEKA (KSNT) – A settlement has been reached with the internet search engine Google over its location tracking practices on Monday.
According to the Kansas Office of the Attorney General, a settlement with Google has resulted in an agreement by the company to change its business practices to safeguard the identification information of consumers. The agreement pertains to Google’s location data in relation to its digital advertising business.
Kansas, along with 39 other states, raised concerns about consumer privacy and potential violation of privacy laws, according to the AG. The result of the settlement will be a payout from Google totaling $391.5 million to the states. Kansas will receive $5.9 million from Google.
The AG said Google uses the personal and behavioral data it collects to construct detailed user profiles and target ads on behalf of its advertising customers. Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, according to the AG. A limited amount of location data can expose a person’s identity and routines and can be used to infer personal details.
The settlement will require Google to be more transparent with consumers about its practices. Now, Google must:
- Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off.”
- Make key information about location tracking more prominent for users.
- Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.
The settlement will also limit Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires Google account controls to be more user-friendly.